These days, the Beeb mentions ‘silent killers’ and you automatically assume it’s referring to its recent spate of fantastic dramas – Luther and the like – but this time, we’re talking that bit closer to home, and there’s nothing fictional about it.
For Long Live Britain, Julia Bradbury, Phil Tufnell and Dr Phil Hammond present two programmes raising awareness of three silent killers that collectively claim 200,000 lives every year – Type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and liver disease.
Back in May, locals and sports fans at Super League’s Magic Weekend in Manchester were screened to see if they were at risk of the deadly diseases.
And it wasn’t a small affair. A team of three GPs, 50 NHS volunteers and leading charities Diabetes UK, Heart UK and the British Liver Trust helped more than 400 people with advice about how to reduce the risk of developing these chronic conditions.
Julia Bradbury says: “As a mum, the health of my family is something I feel is incredibly important and I now want to help other families by raising awareness of these preventable conditions. I’ll be meeting members of the public, some of whom are at risk of developing one of these illnesses, and speaking with experts and celebrities to learn more about what we can all do to live more healthily.
“It’s going to be fascinating, revealing and life-changing for some people.”
But the screening isn’t just reserved for the folk of Manchester – some familiar TV personalities were also screened a few weeks prior to the event, and cameras follow former EastEnder Ricky Grover, singer Jodie Prenger and actress Crissy Rock as they undergo medical tests, await the outcome... and are given their results. And the trio has a lot to learn, as Dr Phil Hammond explains what the liver goes through in processing fatty foods, what happens if the body can’t absorb sugar from the blood stream, and discusses good and bad cholesterol.
At the time of the screening, Ricky explained: “I’m at that stage in my life where I knew I needed to get a proper health MOT. I knew I need to lose weight and my problem like a lot of people, is that I lacked motivation. My big hope was that getting involved with the programme would give me the motivation to change and along the way show people that it is possible to change.”
And Jodie was keen to be screened because of her family’s history of Type 2 diabetes, saying: “I didn’t want to wait until it was too late and I was backed into a corner without any choices.”
In the second of the programmes, Ricky, Jodie and Crissy hear more about their health assessments, as well as meeting with sufferers of the conditions and seeing the harsh realities of what it’s like to live with them.
But the main lesson to be learned from this big event? All three conditions are preventable if caught early enough, and Dr Phil will be explaining what viewers can do to lessen their own risk.
LONG LIVE BRITAIN, BBC1, MONDAY, 9pm